playtime before shabbat, williamsburg

There is something so whimsical in walking up and down Williamsburg at lunch time on Fridays.
The Jewish families are preparing for Shabbat and everywhere is mayhem. Kids coming back home from school, mothers baking challots and putting the finishing touches on the rest of the meal, cars rushing through the neighborhoods for the last drive of the week, and then the play-time before dusk when all the kids are let loose on the street block with their tractors and their second-hand bicycles before sunset when all the toys have to disappear and the quiet and reflective time begins. I had a moment of luck among then disproval of the religious mother and stole a couple of frames of the childish games. It was enough to let me go back in time to last summer in Jerusalem where I would assist to the exact same scene every Shabbat in my neighborhood, Nachlaot before the prayers began and the whole city went quiet for a whole 24 hours.
Although, I disliked this for the longest time, the last month I spent in Israel, I learned to love the “imposed curfew” and I now miss it terribly. A quiet day to spend entirely on self-reflection *(and/or, if you are a believer in prayers) it’s much needed especially in a metropolis where chaos and lack of patience prevail like it is in New York City.

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